Did you hear that Michael Jackson died?
It's been minor news for about the last 13 days, and can I just say, that I am SO over it? I realize that devoting a blog post to good ol' MJ is a double standard since I'm complaining about the onslaught of media attention. But, it's my blog and I'll be a hypocrite if I want to :)
I'm as big a fan of celebrity "news" and gossip as the next girl. In fact I check people.com once a day to get my fix. That might be a low estimate. I digress. When I heard that the King of Pop died on my way home from work two Thursdays ago, I knew it was big news. I figured there'd be a little tribute on the Today Show and it would get mentioned on the news. I guessed that MTV and VH1 would have some MJ video marathons and radio stations would play his songs all day Friday.
I was surprised and intrigued/saddened/annoyed/disgusted when I turned on the Today Show on Friday morning to find the ENTIRE 3 hours devoted to Michael Jackson news. I mean, he died. It's sad. What could there possibly be to talk about for 3 hours!? They interviewed attorneys, music industry big wigs, his personal spiritual guru (who could only be reached via cell phone since he was on a spiritual retreat in Iceland) and doctors who had never treated him but wanted to discuss possible theories on "what went wrong". Meredith Vieira had even flown to LA on Thursday night so she could report LIVE from the epicenter. Okay, so the Today show isn't exactly hard-hitting news. Maybe I can understand. But...
All 3 major networks devoted all of the nightly national news to the same silliness. Seriously, people?! And it's been pretty much non-stop since then until yesterday when all the major networks preempted their regularly scheduled programming to cover his entire 2 hour memorial service LIVE. From the little bit that I saw, Katie Couric was covering the event live in LA, but they kept cutting back to the studio in NY for updates and analysis. Are you freaking kidding me?!
This has nothing to do with how I personally feel about Michael Jackson (although, since you asked, I think he's a strange, sad man who at the very least had grossly inappropriate relationships with children). Apparently he has millions of fans. I get that they are sad and want to know what's going on. So read People magazine. Watch Entertainment Tonight. But, for the love of Pete, can we please use news broadcasts to cover actual news?
While MJ's dead body sat around garnering all the media attention for the last 2 weeks, did ya know what else was going on in the world?
- North Korea test fired 7 more missiles
- South Carolina's senate voted to censure their governer
- A Yemeni airliner crashed off of Comoros killing 152 people
- Obama met with Putin in Russia
- A serial killer struck repeatedly in South Carolina (they're having a bad month in SC, apparently)
- Ethnic violence erupted in China
- Honduras' president was overthrown in a military coup
Ultimately, the news networks are driven by ratings. Ratings are increased by showing the people what they want to see. SO...
What does it say about us a a country that we want to devote all of our attention to a man who sang, danced/made lewd pelvic movements and was addicted to plastic surgery while we virtually ignore the real issues?! Nothing good, my friends. Nothing good.
Now, if someone will bring me an extenion ladder, I will climb down off my giant soap box. Sorry for the rant. For the record, I feel much better now :)